Thomson sails to the rescue

//Thomson sails to the rescue

As the flight chaos caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland reaches its fifth day, cruise lines are joining Royal Navy ships to bring holidaymakers home to the UK.
Thomson Cruises announced this morning that Island Escape, currently in Funchal, will sail to Falmouth so that passengers can get home without flying. The ship will also carry 300 Thomson holidaymakers who had been staying in Madeira and whose flights have been cancelled.
The ship, which can normally carry up to 1,710 passengers, is due in Falmouth on Friday.
Passengers who had been due to fly to Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Funchal to board the ship over the weekend for a cruise to Barcelona, will be taken by coach to Falmouth instead.
The company’s newest vessel, Thomson Dream, has been drafted in to ferry holidaying families from Majorca to Barcelona, from where their onward journey will be arranged.
The ship, formerly the Costa Europa, had been scheduled to begin her maiden voyage under the Thomson flag from Barcelona next Monday.
Thomson have announced that they have cancelled all outbound flights from the UK up to and including Wednesday, and passengers planning to depart on other Thomson ships this week are advised to check Thomson’s website before travelling to the airport.
After bussing passengers from Manchester airport to Glasgow last Friday, Fred Olsen managed to get them to Bridgetown, Barbados for Braemar’s re-scheduled departure. A planeload of 257 who were due to return by charter flight to Manchester are still on the island, in full-board hotel accommodation and with a company rep on hand to liaise with airlines.
Holland America’s Eurodam, which should have sailed from Civitavecchia (Rome) tonight, will stay in port an extra day to allow for more passengers to arrive. A call at Dubrovnik will take place a day later than planned, and a visit to Corfu has been cancelled. The remainder of the 10-day voyage, to Santorini, Kusadasi, Athens and Sicily, is expected to go ahead as scheduled.
A number of cruise ships will be crossing the Atlantic in the next couple of weeks en route to their summer season in the Mediterranean.
Penny Guy, of the Passenger Shipping Association, has said she expects cruise lines to be asked whether they could take on extra passengers
“It will be up to the cruise companies how they wish to proceed. I’m sure they would like to help, it’s just whether they are able to do so – there will be logistical issues such as passenger limits.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:29+00:00 19 April 2010|Cruise News|3 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Dave 19 April 2010 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Bring the QE2 out of retirement. Fastest passenger ship in the world; that’s got to be handy

  2. ken 26 April 2010 at 6:39 am - Reply

    We were one of the family’s “rescued” by Thomson from Majorca and endured the helish journey by coach through Spain and France up to Calais. We set off on the Thomson Dream and just getting aboard took 3 hours quing. We then endured 20 hours of coach with only 15 minute breaks in overcrowded services , every 3 hours. Promises that UK coaches would meet us at Calais didn’t materialise and over 1000 people suffered being dropped in an unlit carpark with NO facilities at 3am on a very chilly morning. After a 4 hour wait in the cold air with our baby and other child aged 4. We were promised we would be taken to out respective airports direct off the “Thomson Special Chartered Ferry” that wasn’t there ! We needed Manchester and ended up in Gatwick only to be told there were NO Thomson reps there and no-one to meet us. After that we were eventualy coached to a services on M25 , 40 minutes away and again hurried onto other coaches for UK airports. Many people were old , infirm , disabled or children. Many 100’s hadnt had any oportunity to use a toilet for No2’s in 2 days, just being rushed from coach to coach. Rep after rep didn’t know what to do and had no means of communication to their seniors. All in all a terrible traumatuc experience we were forced into with no choice given. From the start I was very dubious re the logistics of it all and wanted to remain in our hotel until the flights restarted. We we were told this was the only option and if we didnt take it we were “on our own”. We wish we had been. Only half of our full story is told here , yes theres more cockups and unkept promises , read this as you will .

  3. Funchal 25 February 2011 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Funchal it’s a gorgeous cruise ship destination. Do you know Funchal? Best Regards. Do you know Funchal Fireworks?

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